Austin – Senator José Rodríguez released the following statement in regards to the recent actions taken by ICE following a domestic violence case in El Paso.
This shameful episode shows what results from an anti-immigrant atmosphere created by irresponsible rhetoric from the president on down to state leaders, combined with an immigration enforcement system now focused on rounding up all undocumented people. Under no circumstance should a person trying to escape an abuser have to fear that if she tries to get help, then the abuser can call ICE. What an awful choice to make: stay with someone who hurts you or get a protective order and run the risk that ICE agents will grab you while you’re in court.
This will certainly prevent people from reporting any crimes or abuse to law enforcement, the courts, or nonprofits, making all of us unsafe. This is also inextricably linked to anti-sanctuary cities policies state leaders are pursuing. There will be many more victims like the woman at our courthouse if SB 4 or similar legislation becomes law.
The fact that this woman is transgender only further highlights the diversity of vulnerable people who will be swept up in these raids. Transgender women of color are disproportionally more likely to die violent deaths. This further illustrates the ongoing attack on many different communities, and the need for us to unite in the face of laws that single out specific groups for discrimination.
In Texas we’ve already seen at least one deportation attributed to a case of mistaken identity. In Seattle, we have at least one person who was living in this country with authorization through DACA nonetheless captured in an ICE raid. How long before we have U.S. citizens wrongly detained under this deeply flawed enforcement effort?